Comprehensive and specialised physiotherapy services

Shin Splints

 

Most people have heard of dreaded shin splints; you may have even suffered from this in the past. The fancy (medical) name for shin splints is ‘Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome’ or MTSS.

 

MTSS is most often exercise-related and manifests as pain on the inside of the shin. The underlying issue is often a result of repetitive loading/overuse during exercise, particularly running, and jumping-type movements.

 

Management by a physiotherapist will include gathering a thorough history and a clinical assessment which is used to rule out more serious pathologies. Your plan may include advice around exercise load management/exercise modification, hands-on therapy, self-treatment advice and specific exercises to make a full recovery.

 

Here are 5 tips for helping to manage MTSS:

 

1.Monitor Load

Ensure that you are not having sudden, drastic changes in your exercise load. To do this, it is important to carefully track aspects of exercise such as distances run, intensity, types of surfaces you are training on as well as monitoring how symptoms are affected during AND following your exercise. Your physiotherapist will offer guidance on all these aspects of your exercise to ensure you’re doing the right amount.

 

2. Appropriate Rest

It’s important to know that MTSS may not mean complete rest from activity is needed. Although this may be the case for you, MTSS is an overuse injury that requires an adequate amount of rest to settle symptoms down and ensure that you do not stir things up more. Finding the optimal amount of rest:exercise ratio is difficult and this will likely be achieved by starting with reduced frequency of exercise and gradually building this back up to pre-injury levels.

 

3. Modify Training

We know everybody has a sport or type of exercise that they love, but if possible, it is important that we modify the type of training to assist with resolution of MTSS. Rather than ceasing exercise altogether, it’s possible to maintain your fitness or conditioning. If you are a runner, this may mean trying some cycling or getting on the cross trainer/elliptical. The beauty of this minimal fitness loss whilst allowing adequate rest from aggravating activities.

 

4. Consider Footwear

Whether you’re a professional athlete or a weekend warrior, it is worth considering what type of shoes you are wearing. It may seem obvious, but in some cases, poorly designed footwear may play a role in development of MTSS. Maybe those Converse shoes aren’t the best to run in?

 

5. DO YOUR EXERCISES!

Completing your individualised program will address each component that is important to keep you healthy, pain-free and reduce your risk of flare-ups from happening in the future. This may also mean giving your body some TLC by self-massaging, stretching or icing. JUST DO IT!

 

If you need help with shin pain, make an appointment today:

 

Do you ‘kneed’ some help?

Do you “kneed” some help understanding your knee pain?!? 

Illiotibial band syndrome 

Physio West | Workplace Injuries & Motor Vehicle Accidents | Physiotherapy, exercise therapy and massage services in Adelaide, South Australia.

 

Given the closure of many sporting clubs and gyms I noticed an increase in individuals taking up new fitness endeavours. A common one amongst my friends, including the team at PhysioWest, was running. I therefore thought I would join the gang and begin my running journey. 

Without having gone for a run in years I jumped straight into it. The first couple of times was went well and I was hitting some good running goals. After a while I started noticing a sharp pain on the outer side of my knee. Initially I only experienced it whilst running, however with increased frequency of running I noticed it became more prominent and present with long distance walking. What I believed to be experiencing was Illiotibial band (ITB) syndrome, more commonly known as ‘runner’s knee’. 

Your ITB is a thick band of tissue located on the outer side of your thigh, which runs from your hip to your knee. Associated inflammation of the ITB or its surrounding structures can result/present as this sharp/burning outer knee pain. There is debate about the exact cause and source of this inflammation. Majority attributes it to repetitive knee flexion and extension movements, which cause the ITB to rub repeatedly against local bone structures. This ultimately leads to irritation and inflammation of the ITB itself. These types of movements are frequently seen in cyclists and runners, hence the name. Another proposed cause can be compression of fat and tissues that sit under the ITB, which become inflamed and produce pain. 

Multiple risk factors can be considered for the development of ITB syndrome. These include tightness of the ITB, load/distance/frequency of aggravating activity (running or walking) and muscular weakness of supporting lower limb muscles (knee extensors, hip abductors and hip flexors). 

In the early stages of rehabilitation, the primary focus is reducing pain and inflammation. Simple modalities which can help towards pain relief include icing, massage/foam rolling (to tight ITB’s) and taping (to offload ITB). Avoiding further aggravation is a key step to the recovery process, this may involve some form of rest or activity modification; however the amount will be driven by the severity of the condition. Modifying the activity intensity/time/distance to a range which is pain-free both during and after the activity is something to consider. It is also important to implement a graded return to activity after a period of rest or activity modification. Exercise prescription is crucial for maintaining mobility and targeting any strength deficits. Stretching exercises which target the ITB, tensor fascia latae and gluteal muscles are encouraged. Research also suggests implementing strengthening exercises targeting the hip abductors (gluteal muscles) to help stabilise the hip. 

Experiencing this sort of pain can be somewhat frustrating, especially if it is stopping you from achieving your activity goals. It is important to understand the cause of your knee pain in order to treat it appropriately. The physiotherapists at PhysioWest are trained to assess and treat this sort of knee pain or any other knee troubles you may be having. 

So pop into the clinic so we can get on top of your knee pain and get you back to your activity… whether that be running just like me.

 


Beals, C & Flanigan, D 2013, ‘A review of treatments for Illiotibila band syndrome in the atheletic population’, Journal of Sport Medicine, Vol. NA , pg 1-6. 

Goom, T 2012, ‘ITBS’, Running Physio, <https://www.running-physio.com/itbs/>. 

Physio-pedia NA, ‘Illiotibial band Syndrome’, Physiopedia, <https://www.physio- pedia.com/Iliotibial_Band_Syndrome>.

Feeling a bit Hamstrung?

 

Hamstring tightness is one of the most common complaints that we hear from runners and field athletes. 

 

What are the hamstrings?

The hamstrings are a group of muscles that make up the back of your thigh, and the main function of these muscles are to bend your knee, and to extend your hip backwards. The hamstrings are very active while running, and even more so while sprinting. It’s therefore not surprising that this muscle group often feels tight during and after a run.

 

How come stretching hasn’t got rid of my hamstring tightness?

While it’s true that hamstring tightness can be relieved by performing stretching or foam rolling before and after a run, it is not always the answer. The sensation of tightness can be caused by hamstring weakness, and that will require a more involved strengthening program to solve. 

If your hamstrings are weak, stretching and foam rolling will relieve the sensation of tightness temporarily, but it will not solve the issue in the long-term. This is because if your hamstrings are weak and constantly feeling tight during and after a run, they are likely fatigued and are unable to tolerate the load that is placed through them. 

It is especially important to strengthen your hamstrings if you are returning to running or sport after a long gap in training, as you are at a higher risk of sustaining an injury.  

 

What kind of exercises can I do to strengthen my hamstrings?

There are a number of different exercises that you can perform to strengthen your hamstrings, but a favourite of ours is the Nordic curl. The Nordic curl works the hamstring eccentrically, meaning that the muscle is working while it is lengthening, similar to the load that is put through it while you are running.

If you are looking to add the Nordic curl into your exercise program, make sure to come in and see one of our physios to ensure that you can perform the exercise safely and effectively. 

 

Have a look at our recent Team Tuesday post on Instagram or Facebook of our physios trying out the Nordic curl!

Glute Amnesia

A glut-torial to waking up your booty

What is Glute Amnesia?

 

Thousands of ordinary people around the world are suffering from a dangerous phenomenon scientists are calling “Glute Amnesia”. Those affected by Glute Amnesia find that their brain forgets how to activate the gluteal muscles (also known as the booty) and the consequences are quite terrifying. By not activating their glutes many people are experiencing the following symptoms:

  • Lower back pain
  • Hip pain
  • Knee pain
  • Sciatica-type pain

In addition to this many people getting back into sports and the gym are struggling to reawaken their glutes. This is detrimental to sporting performance and can pre-dispose individuals to injuries when squatting and deadlifting.

 

But what is the cause of this terrifying phenomena?

 

SITTING!!! COVID-19 has resulted in many of us sitting more at home whether that be for Netflix related reasons or working-from-home related reasons. The more you sit the more your brain forgets how to use your glutes. It’s time to fight back and reactivate your posterior!

 

What are my glutes even good for?

 

Your glutes are made up of three muscles called the Glute Maximus, Glute Medius and Glute Minimus and it is important to make sure you re-awaken all three of these muscles. The glutes assist us in squatting down, standing up, stabilising our hips when walking/running, protecting our lower back and maintaining an attractive physique. These guys are the biggest muscles in your body and are involved in nearly every movement you perform on a daily basis. 

 

Oh no! I think someone I love or myself may have Glute Amnesia! What should I do?

 

Answer: Get them working!

Take a gander at our “Movement Monday” posts on Facebook and Instagram for some exercise ideas to reactive your glutes and kick some booty goals.

 

If you, or someone you care about, is suffering from Glute Amnesia book in with one of our physiotherapists today. We will help you get reacquainted with your glutes using targeted exercises, whilst also addressing any aches or pains you might be experiencing. Pilates, dry needling and functional movement assessments are all techniques physiotherapists may choose to use to help you overcome your Glute Amnesia.

 

Book online at www.physiowest.com.au or call us on ph: 8352 3582